The Lady in Gold

Anne-Marie O'Connor

We also recommend Anne-Marie O'Connor's The Lady in Gold, which tells the story of Gustav Klimt's painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer. Adele died in 1934 and in her will, she asked her husband to donate the portrait to an Austrian museum. Yet in 1938, her husband fled Vienna for his life and died in greatly reduced circumstances in Switzerland. He was the painting's owner and wanted to give it to his niece, Marie Altman. The Austrians would not budge. Into the picture walked a young, relatively untested lawyer, Randol Schoenberg. O'Connor, an investigative reporter for The Los Angeles Times, digs deep into turn-of-the-century Vienna, the Second World War, and Schoenberg's battle to get the painting back. The book was filmed in Vienna, with Helen Mirren playing Marie Altman.